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I love fish! The delicate flavors are amazing as are the different textures that you can find in fish. Let’s take a moment to check out some different ways to cook fish. Ready to head into the kitchen?

When we were in Arizona, we stopped by this restaurant and had amazing fish and chips with the fish being Mahi Mahi! It was delish! So, I made this for us here at home! The recipe: Mahi Mahi Fish and Chips

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Tilapia is a very mild fish, and I love to make Oven Fried Fish with this delicate gem. Check this out!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Doesn’t this look good?

Salmon can be cooked a number of different ways. I like to oven bake it and featured this recipe, which I dubbed The Salmon Fishing Queen Cooks Salmon! This fish is flaky and tender!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

If you would like something a bit different, my friend Steve from college days, would make what I call Steve’s Baked Fish. I use tilapia in this dish, but you can also use snapper or cod! The yellow peppers kick the heat up a notch on this dish!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Yummy!

Thanks for stopping by today, and enjoy your day! Have fish for dinner tonight! Be well! ^..^

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Comfort food! It makes you feel warm and cozy on a cold day. The amazing flavors of comfort foods helps you to sleep at night. Cooking comfort foods can bring a family together in the kitchen when it comes to putting it all together! Let’s check out some comfort foods from past posts. See what you think!

Let’s begin with a hearty beef stew. Here is a recipe for one made with a hearty Cabernet! The wine makes this dish as done the addition of a bit of bacon! Just enough bacon to make this rich! The recipe: Hearty Cabernet Beef Stew.

Hearty Cabernet Beef Stew

Hearty Cabernet Beef Stew

There is something about a hearty sauce over pork that just makes my mouth water thinking about it! Check out this recipe for Sierra Foothills Chops!

Sierra Foothills Chops

Sierra Foothills Chops

I love a good soup that warms the bones. To do this I love a Cream of Broccoli with Mushroom Soup! Doesn’t this look yummy?

Cream of Broccoli with Mushrooms

Cream of Broccoli with Mushrooms

Chicken Paprikash with Spaetzle is another comfort food that comes to mind. The flavors on this recipe sure does pop! Yummm…

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Please let me know if you try any of these! They are all very tasty dishes!

Have a wonderful day, and thank you for taking the time to check out today’s post!

Be well! ^..^

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You might remember that this year was the first year of using wine barrels in the garden. The barrels were to thwart the gophers and they did their job. What they did not deal with, though, were the ground squirrels! Yes, my garden has been ravaged by ground squirrels! Ground squirrels know how to climb!

At the beginning of the season the zucchini and acorn squash were doing rather well. Then the eating began! As the fruit started to develop the little rug rats discovered them. I had to share! Not that I minded at that point because we were getting plenty to eat. Then they started to eat the flower blossoms! Yup! They ate the blossoms! And, the birds? Well they picked the leaves off the green beans, wax beans, Tuscan melons, and the watermelon too!

We did get some amazing corn! And, we are waiting for the hundreds of tomatoes to turn red. Due to having turned my ankle, I sent my husband to the garden yesterday to harvest onions, carrots and potatoes! So, today I share this bounty with you!

The potato seeds indicated these were to be fingerlings. Clearly they are not but they sure are a nice mix of different potatoes!

Colorful potatoes

Colorful potatoes

Check out these carrots and onions! The aroma from the onions: Amazing!

Carrots and onions

Carrots and onions

Let’s look at them a bit closer!

Onions before cleaning

Onions before cleaning

Carrots before a good scrub

Carrots before a good scrub

One of the carrots was a mutant!

One odd carrot!

One odd carrot!

My husband got busy scrubbing and here is the cleaned up produce!

Cleaned up!

Cleaned up!

The entire bounty

The entire bounty

The best part? Fresh vegetables to go with our dinner!

Eating fresh!

Eating fresh!

Pretty aren’t they? The taste? Phenomenal!

I hope you enjoyed our little harvest! Now go out and have a great Monday, and week for that matter! Thanks for stopping by! Be well! ^..^

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I absolutely love short ribs! When these little bundles of joy are slowly cooked the flavors are not only heavenly, but very rich as well! There is nothing better than a good short ribs dinner paired with garlic mashers! Of course, you have to remember to serve a vegetable! My mother-in-law was a believer in five vegetables to go with every meal, and I always think of her when serving food. I do not always get in the five, but I do get in the veges! So, shall we head into the kitchen to take a look at different short rib recipes? OK! Let’s go!

Here are two different methods of cooking short ribs. One is slow braising in the oven, The Best Short Rib Recipe Ever!, the other two are braised in the crockpot, Crockpot Braised Short Ribs, or, No Bones About It!

What is important with short ribs is browning the meat! This seals in the flavor of the short ribs!

Browned short ribs

Browned short ribs

The other thing that is important is cooking down the beef broth to intensify the flavors of it!

Cooking down the beef broth

Cooking down the beef broth

I discovered that cooking short ribs with a porter and some vegetables, like onion, carrots and mushrooms, gives this dish more flavor. You can also use wine, which is featured in the “No Bones” recipe.

Porter, onions, mushrooms, carrots, oh my!

Porter, onions, mushrooms, carrots, oh my!

When cooking with the crockpot, do not remove the lid! But with oven braising, you will want to turn the short ribs. Here is a photo of the oven braised mid-way through cooking! Tell me, can’t you just smell them? Mmmm….

Half way through cooking

Half way through cooking

When all is said and done, they all look lovely when done! Here is the one that is oven braised:

Short ribs

Short ribs

And, here are the two crockpot short ribs! This one is with a stout beer.

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

And, this one is with wine!
Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Are you thinking of trying one of these? Please let me know if you try either recipe! You can get to the recipes by clicking on the method you prefer! Oven braised, or Crockpot braised with Stout, or Crockpot braised with Wine!

Thank you for stopping by today! Have an amazing day and be well! ^..^

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I was looking for something different to serve up and came across Conor’s Italian Meatballs! I made this dish over the weekend and I must say that this dish is very tasty! I like the rosemary used in the meatballs, and the sauce is superb! I am re-blogging his post so that you can try this one too!

One Man's Meat

Italian-meatballsPretty aggressive headline, don’t you think? There are a couple of reasons for this. Reason number one is because that’s what the people around the table told me. Reason number two is that I want some reaction. I am fed up reading recipes for meatballs (and all sorts of other stuff) that just can’t be any good. In my research for this post, I came across one recipe that recommended boiling the meatballs in the sauce for three hours. Fine if you want to fire them out of a canon to sink a ship but not much use if you want to eat them. Get real. 

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I have recently added a new spice mix to my ever growing spice cupboard. It is “Chinese 5 Spices.” This mix actually contains 7 ingredients and is a very flavorful blend. It contains cinnamon, star anise, fennel, ginger, cloves, white pepper and licorice root. That’s it! No preservatives! I have used this mix to make spareribs, and now a braised beef dish, and love the results! So, are you ready to head into the kitchen? Let’s go!

Ingredients - missing the ginger root

Ingredients – missing the ginger root

Ingredients
2 TBS peanut oil
3 slices of fresh ginger, trimmed
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 1/2 # beef stew meat – cut into cubes the size of you pinky finger from tip to first joint
2 TBS hearty red wined
1 whole star anise
1 1/2″ length of cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spices
3 TBS dark soy sauce
2 cups of beef stock
Several sprigs of cilatro

This dish takes no time to put together and then cooks in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. So, let’s get that oven going! Set if for 350 degrees. Get out your cast iron dutch oven to start the cooking process!

Add the peanut oil to the pot and heat the pot to high. When the oil is hot add in the ginger, onion and garlic.

Sliced onion, minced garlic and slices of fresh ginger

Sliced onion, minced garlic and slices of fresh ginger

Stir until the aromas hit your nose. Then add in the beef and brown.

Brown the beef

Brown the beef

Once the beef is browned, add the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the cilantro. Combine well,

All ingredients added and ready for braising in the oven

All ingredients added and ready for braising in the oven

cover, and place this in the oven. Set your timer for 2 1/2 hours. Let it do its thing…

Half an hour before this is done, prepare some steamed rice and a lovely green vege. When the timer goes off, remove the pot from the oven, and don’t forget to turn the oven off!

Right out of the oven

Right out of the oven

By now your veges and rice should be done as well. Remove the cinnamon stick, the star anise and the sliced ginger before serving. Then plate it up! And, top each serving with sprigs of cilantro!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

The aromas are amazing, making your mouth water as you serve this up! And, it is very flavorful! This can be made ahead and served the following day and the flavors will be even better!

Please do let me know if you try this simple, flavorful dish! To my friend Conor: Do you dare try this one? 🙂

Thank you for joining me in the kitchen! Enjoy your Monday! Be well!

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I wanted to make something yummy for dinner last night and decided on chicken chili. I decided to “kick it up a notch” by adding some chorizo to it! This chili is easy to make, which is one of those things that I really like!

I am really particular about the type of chorizo I use because most of the chorizo that one finds in the grocery store is made from the salivary glands of either the pig or the cow. Doesn’t sound appealing to me…The brand that I buy is from Mulays Sausage Company. I discovered their chorizo (and they have some mighty tasty sausages too!) at a food show years ago! Their chorizo cooks up beautifully, is not overly greasy, and is made from pork shoulder. It is not too spicy either. It is great mixed with scrambled eggs, and cooked with chicken, as I did here in this recipe!

Preview

Preview

Ready to head into the kitchen?

Ingredients – 6 servings

1# Mulay’s Chorizo
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1# boneless chicken breast, cut up into small cubes
1 15 oz. can of diced petite tomatoes
2 chipotle chiles in adobo (not cans, just two of the chile’s from the can)
1 15 oz. can each of pinto, red kidney and black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 TBS Mexican chili powder (available in the specialty food section)
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 24 oz. bottle of Mexican beer (I used Modelo)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup of corn flour
1 lime, juiced
2 cups medium cheddar, shredded
cilantro

First, cook up the chorizo. When I put this in the pan, I break it up as I add it to the pan. When just cooked through, drain on paper towel. Be sure to blot the top! Set aside.

Next, heat your oil in a soup pot. When hot add the onion and garlic and cook until just transparent. Then add the chicken and cook until the chicken turns white. Then add in the chorizo and stir to combine.

Cooked chicken with chorizo added

Cooked chicken with chorizo added

Then add in the chipotle chiles, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Stir this up to combine and then slowly add in about 3/4 of the beer.
The chili is ready to cook for an hour

The chili is ready to cook for an hour

Reserve the rest. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to simmer and cook for about an hour.

Next we will use the corn flour. A quick note on corn flour: Do not use corn meal, which is gritty. I find my corn flour in the regular baking aisle of the grocery store. It should be a powder and you can use this too for making tortillas!

Corn flour

Corn flour

If you are in the UK, do not confuse this with what we here in the U.S. call corn starch! It is not the same!

Add the corn flour to a bowl. Then slowly add in the rest of the beer and combine making sure you do not have any lumps. Then add the mixture to the chili slowly.

Corn flour and beer mixture added to chili

Corn flour and beer mixture added to chili

This will thicken up the chili. Next follow this by adding in the lime juice, then stir well. Bring this back to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Cook another 20 minutes.

Then serve it up! I like to put some of the cheddar at the bottom of the bowl, then top with the chili. On top, put more of the cheddar, a dollop of sour cream and a few of the cilantro leaves for zest!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Each bite is lovely! This chili is a bit spicy because of the chipotle chiles and the Mexican chili powder! By adding that beer at the end with the corn flour, the flavor of the hops in the beer really makes a good show!

Any takers on making this? Joe? Conor over at One Man’s Meat?

Have a great Friday! And, thank you for taking the time to drop by! Be well! ^..^

Serve with

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Back in May we planted up the vegetable garden in wine barrels. You might remember that post. If not, you can see this post by clicking HERE! The garden is growing beautifully and I wanted to share some photos with you! Now I do need to mention that I am having issues with the birds eating seedlings, and the earwigs doing some nibbling too…How about a preview of some of our tomatoes?

We have tomatoes!

We have tomatoes!

Going back in time…Here is a view of the vegetable garden when we planted. Mother’s Day is when you want to plant a garden here in the Sierra Foothills! Ready?

May 17th

May 17th

Here is a view from the deck of the garden today!

Looking over the garden today

Looking over the garden today

Quite a difference eh? I have already harvested zucchini! Here is a shot of the zucchini with the acorn squash plants in front.

Zucchini and acorn squash

Zucchini and acorn squash

My corn is now in bloom and is over 6 feet tall!

Corn

Corn

We have 3 different varieties of tomatoes. Celebrity, a purple heirloom and a Roma.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

And, this year I am growing fingerling potatoes!

Fingerling potatoes

Fingerling potatoes

Also in the garden are wax beans and green beans. Having bird issues with these plants! We also have onions and carrots. The radishes have been eaten by something and same with the cantaloupe. My peppers are just seedlings and the cilantro is starting to get bigger! I will be replacing the melon plants with something else that I might see if I can get today.

I hope you have enjoyed this garden tour! Now go out and have a wonderful Wednesday! Thanks for dropping by!

Be well! ^..^

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I am really falling in love with cooking up a recipe using a beer or ale! The aromas of the food, not to mention the flavor, are rich and beautiful! So, when I came across a recipe in the December issue of Bon Appetit for a Belgian Ale – Braised Brisket, I just had to give it a go! I altered this recipe a bit, but it is based upon this recipe that I found! Shall we head into the kitchen?

Ingredients
Brisket of Beef, flat cut
Kosher salt
1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1 TBS of pressed ginger
Bacon fat
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup of flour
750 ml bottle Allagash Tripel Reserve Belgian Style Ale

Belgian Style Ale

Belgian Style Ale


4 cups of beef broth
1 bay leaf

The first thing that you do is season the brisket with the Kosher salt. I was liberal with this. Then tightly wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and place it back in the refrigerator. The recipe calls for 8 hours but I only did this for 4 hours. Remove it from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to allow it to warm up a bit. Meat cooks better the closer it gets to room temperature.

As the meat sits, make the mixture which you will slather the meat with. Place the mustard and brown sugar in a bowl. Now the recipe calls for one to grate the ginger. This is truly a pain in the rear! My experience with this was that the ginger does not drop off the grater but sticks in the little grates. I ended up spending about a half hour extricating what little I grated using a toothpick to lift the pieces. After getting what I could off the grater, I switched to my garlic/ginger press, which worked so much better! Add this to the mustard and sugar and then mix thoroughly.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven heats up, get out a baking pan with sides and place a rack in the bottom. Place the meat on the rack and them slather it will all of the mustard, sugar, ginger mix.

Brisket rubbed and ready for the oven

Brisket rubbed and ready for the oven

Let this sit until the oven is hot, then place this in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until it is a lovely golden brown.

As the meat starts baking, the next thing to do is prepare the braising sauce. I used my cast iron dutch oven. Heat the bacon fat over medium high heat. Use about 2 – 2 1/2 TBS. When this is hot, carefully add the onion. Cook these until they are a golden brown.

Browned onions

Browned onions

This takes about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, and then slowly mix in the flour. Take your time! This ensures that you do not get lumps! Cook this until the flour turns a lovely golden color.

Next, slowly add in your ale stirring as you go. The aromas of the ale with the onions? Fabulous! Once this is incorporated into the onions, then add in the broth and the bay leaf. Turn off the heat.

By now your meat should be ready. Pull it out of the oven and then turn the temperature down to 300 degrees. Add the meat to the dutch oven.

Ready to start braising!

Ready to start braising!

Cover this and place it in the oven. Cook this for 3 hours turning every half hour.

When this is done, remove from the oven, and remove the meat from the sauce. Let the meat sit covered for about 20 minutes before slicing. Place the dutch oven on a burner and heat to simmer until the sauce coats the spoon. When done, turn off the heat and cover. Slice up the meat.

Lovely sliced brisket

Lovely sliced brisket

Serve up slices of the meat and cover with a bit of the sauce. Don’t forget your vegetables! I served this with roasted cauliflower and steamed spinach!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

This was very yummy and the aromas in the house were amazing! We have enough for another dinner and we are looking forward to the increased flavors of it sitting overnight!

Please let me know if you try this recipe! Now go out and have a great Wednesday, and thanks for joining me in the kitchen!

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I am working on two recipes. Two which need to be combined. One I have known as a “Cream of Green Chile Soup;” the other is known as a “Cream of Artichoke Soup.” Why? Well, there is a little place located in the town of Pescadero, south of San Francisco, but for us is about 175 miles away. When I lived in the area I used to go to this fabulous little place, called Duartes Tavern, for a mixture of their Cream of Green Chile and Cream of Artichoke Soup! This restaurant has been around since 1894! If you have the chance – GO THERE and have them mix a bowl for you of both of these soups!

So where this is taking me is to the different types of soups that one can make. I have not done a post on this yet, and thought that this would be a good topic for those who love to be in the kitchen like I do! And I am wondering: Is the Cream of Green Chile Soup and the Cream of Artichoke Soup really Bisques or Cream Soups? So here is what I discovered:

Basically, there are 6 types of soups: Stock, Broth, Cream, Bisque, Chowder and Consommé. So, what are the differences?

A Stock begins with water and bones, and sometimes incorporates vegetables into the mix. Fish stock, which is the finest of stocks, can be made with fish bones and water, but if you cook it too long it can become bitter. Beef and chicken are the most common stocks that are made. Stock is made by cooking bones in water with some vegetables and seasonings. Stock can be cooked down and reduced for the flavors to intensify without being overly salty!

A Broth, while being a bit similar to stock, has more seasoning than a stock. It also begins with water, but uses less bones than stock, and still includes some vegetables.

Broth in the soup kettle

Broth in the soup kettle

Meat is usually added, but this is not cooked down to the degree of Stock or it would be too intense in flavor. Bullion that you can buy in the grocery stores should not be confused with broth. Those bullion’s you can buy in the store: Loaded with salt, which is usually the first ingredient.

A Cream Soup generally uses a bechamel, which is a white sauce made with butter and flour. The trick to a good cream soup is to “sweat” the aromatics in butter that you are using for the basis of your soup. This intensifies the flavors. Then you add a bit of flour to create a roux, and add your liquids.

The flour mixture with the addition of the broth

The flour mixture with the addition of the broth

Usually this liquid is a stock, and to finish this soup, you finish it with a bit of cream. I like to toss it in a blender which will smooth and thicken the entire lot of what you are cooking!

A Bisque Soup (pronounced “bisk”), is a soup that begins with a strained broth of shellfish. Traditionally, this soup is made from shells that are ground into a fine paste, which are then added to a broth to help thicken it. Rice can also be used to thicken a bisque. The term Bisque can also refer to a vegetarian style soup which are processed through a food mill or food processor. These more commonly use tomatoes, peppers, squash or mushrooms.

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots

These really are considered a cream soup but needed to be mentioned here as they are more often than not referred to as a “Bisque.”

A Chowder is more like a stew than a soup. It is similar to a cream soup but it is not blended.

Midway through cooking

Midway through cooking

So with this soup you get chunks of food, while it is still creamy. Most chowders include corn, fish, clams, or potatoes. Again, a chunky cream soup!

The last is Consommé. By its very definition this soup is a strong, rich soup where the flavors are concentrated. What sets this apart are the strong flavors and the clarity of the soup. What clarifies this type of soup are egg whites. They are basically a filter for this type of soup! As the soup cooks the eggs capture the sediment in the broth, which rise to the top of the cooking pot. This is called the “raft.” The raft is then spooned off resulting in a clear, flavorful broth!

I hope that you found this post interesting! I was amazed at the differences between all these types of soup!

Now go out and have a great Wednesday! Thanks for dropping by!

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